Essential New Music: Los Angeles Police Department’s “Los Angeles Police Department”

Ryan Pollie turns in another collection of desolate tunes on his second album titled Los Angeles Police Department, which may be slightly confusing to anyone who isn’t a fan. Like his debut, the second LAPD record deals with the problematic aspects of modern love. Pollie’s sulky tenor is perfectly suited to these tales of heartache and lost affection, with muted backing tracks that intensify the tear-soaked scenarios that bring him solace. Whispered vocals and quiet fingerpicking deepen the hopeless emotions of “Ashlyn,” the story of a guy in love with a dead girl. “The Birds” could fit perfectly into the soundtrack of a Fellini movie with its ’50s turnaround and Pollie’s odd whistling, while “Hard” is a country ballad with swooning pedal steel, processed fiddles and breathy vocals. Pollie describes a  relationship  that’s  going  nowhere as he croons the understated chorus: “I find it hard to be in love.”

—j. poet